STANFORD, Calif. - No. 1 seed Stanford opens up its 26th NCAA Tournament Saturday, taking on the 16th-seeded Hampton Lady Pirates at 10:30 a.m. PT from the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. Saturday's first-round game will be televised live on ESPN2 and online at ESPN3.com with Mark Jones on the call and Mary Murphy as analyst. The game will also be carried over the airwaves on 90.1 KZSU with Sam Fisher on the call.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal captured its sixth straight Pac-12 Tournament title, and ninth overall, last Saturday with a 77-62 win over California in Los Angeles. Nnemkadi Ogwumike finished off her Most Outstanding Player-winning weekend performance with 29 points and 12 rebounds, and a 3-for-4 effort from behind the arc. Sophomore forward Chiney Ogwumike posted a double-double of her own with 17 points and 13 rebounds, setting a new Pac-12 record for most rebounds in a single tournament with 37 total. Freshman guard Amber Orrange continued her run of good form with 13 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals against the Golden Bears while Toni Kokenis and Joslyn Tinkle each added nine points.
Stanford's Road To Denver
Monday, Stanford was named the No. 1 seed of the Fresno Regional and sent to Norfolk, Va. for the opening rounds of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The announcement marks the first time since 2001, when the Cardinal traveled to Norman, Okla., that Stanford must head east of the Rocky Mountains to open the tournament. The last time that Stanford began the tournament in the Eastern Time Zone was for the 2000 tournament, when the Cardinal traveled to Athens, Ga.
This is also the 10th time out of Stanford's 26 NCAA Tournament appearances that it opens on the road. Stanford owns a record of 11-4 in first- and second-round NCAA Tournament games away from home, and has won eight straight since its last loss (67-50 at Oklahoma on March 19, 2001).
Wait, We've Been Here Before
This weekend's trip to Norfolk will be the Cardinal's second for the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Stanford opened the 1999 tournament as a No. 8 seed in Norfolk, falling in the first round in a 60-58 loss to No. 9 seed Maine. The Cardinal's last regular-season trip to Norfolk was back in Nov. 2009 for the 2009-10 opener, when Stanford defeated Old Dominion, 89-56.
Stanford In The NCAA Tournament
Stanford enters the NCAA Tournament, its 25th straight and 26th overall, with an all-time record of 65-23 in the event. The Cardinal has advanced to the Final Four 10 times, tied for third-most all-time with Louisiana Tech, including the past four in a row. Additionally, Stanford has reached 18 Sweet 16s and 14 Elite Eights.
All-Time Against Hampton
Saturday's first-round matchup against Hampton will be the first between the Cardinal and the Lady Pirates.
Against The MEAC
Stanford has played just one game all-time against the MEAC prior to Saturday's first-round contest against Hampton. That previous game also came in the NCAA Tournament, when the Cardinal defeated Howard, 111-59, March 16, 1997 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Stanford.
Welcome To Nerd City
After the success of "I Got Bounce" during last year's NCAA Tournament, Stanford Women's Basketball released its follow-up single "Nerd City Kids" last Thursday. With lyrics written and performed by Stanford's national player of the year and All-America candidates Nnemkadi and Chiney Ogwumike, the track laid down by producer Lee Merritts and the video produced by creative video director Bud Anderson and his crew, "Nerd City Kids" showcases the creativity and unity of the Stanford community while celebrating the tradition of success at Stanford.
With 17 straight Learfield Sports Directors' Cups, given annually to the nation's top intercollegiate athletic program, in its possession, Stanford's students and athletes take pride in their accomplishments both in the classroom and on the playing field. Combining the pride in the academic and athletic accomplishments of its population, the students and athletes have rechristened Stanford as "Nerd City."
Nnemkadi Ogwumike Strengthens Her National Player Of The Year Case
Senior forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike's national player of the year and All-America campaign is running full steam heading into the NCAA Tournament. Nneka, named a Wooden Award finalist last week, has led a young group of Cardinal players to a 12th straight conference title, sixth straight Pac-12 Tournament crown and a third straight 18-0 Pac-12 record. The senior forward, who was named Pac-12 Player of the Year for the second time in her career, and has been named Pac-12 Player of the Week three times this season, leads the Pac-12 in scoring (21.8 ppg), and is second in rebounding (10.5 rpg) and free-throw percentage (83.2). She also ranks in the national top 20 in scoring (10th), rebounding (14th) and field-goal percentage (16th).
Chiney Coming Into Her Own
Sophomore forward and younger sister Chiney Ogwumike has shown this year that not only is she talented as a songwriter and a flipcam operator, but also on the court. Besides being one of the stars of Stanford's "Nerd City Kids" music video and its "Real Ladies Of Maples" web series, Chiney is making a convincing All-America case on the court, averaging 15.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game and shooting 58.6 percent. Named the Pac-12's Defensive Player of the Year, she has helped anchor the Cardinal defense with 37 blocks and 23 steals while contributing to holding opponents to just 33.7-percent shooting. She also shares the team lead of 17 double-doubles with older sister Nneka Ogwumike. A consensus national player of the year candidate, Chiney has already been named to the Wooden Award's final ballot.
Stanford's Second City Sparkplug
Guard Toni Kokenis, the second sophomore in Stanford's starting lineup, has enjoyed a breakout season in 2011-12, earning her first All-Pac-12 Team selection as well as All-Defensive Team honorable mention. Kokenis, a native of the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, Ill., is averaging 9.5 points and 3.66 assists per game while ranking among the national leaders with a 2.34 assist-to-turnover ratio. During the Pac-12 Tournament Kokenis averaged 7.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.67 assists as Stanford went 3-0 to win the crown.
Keeping Up With Stanford On The Cardinal Channel
Media and fans can keep up with the goings-on of the Stanford women's basketball team as well as all athletic teams on The Farm via The Cardinal Channel, Stanford Athletics' video network. The Cardinal Channel provides video recaps, interviews, highlights as well as original content such as "19 Hours," "Real Ladies of Maples," "Six Pack" and the debut of Stanford Women's Basketball's second single, "Nerd City Kids." Throughout Stanford's NCAA Tournament run, The Cardinal Channel will be providing behind-the-scenes access as the team aims for a third national title and fifth straight Final Four appearance.
Tinkle's Big Push
Junior forward Joslyn Tinkle continued asserting herself on both ends of the floor during Stanford's run to the Pac-12 Tournament title last weekend. Over the three games Tinkle averaged 6.7 points and 5.3 rebounds a game while leading the team with eight blocked shots. Over the course of the season, she has become one of Stanford's key defenders, leading the squad with 38 blocked shots, and on offense she averages 8.6 points and 5.6 rebounds a game and leads the Pac-12 with an 89.0 free-throw percentage.
Sisters Nnemkadi and Chiney Ogwumike may be Stanford's only sisters dancing this month, but they are not the Cardinal's only team members to have family in The Dance. For the second time in her career, Joslyn Tinkle will be playing in the women's tournament while her father, Wayne, leads the Montana men's basketball team into tournament action as its head coach. While Joslyn is in Norfolk with the Cardinal women, Wayne will be in Albuquerque as the 13th-seeded Griz take on fourth-seeded Wisconsin Thursday morning.
Another Big Streak For The Cardinal
Saturday's Pac-12 Tournament title game win over California set a new record as it brought Stanford's current winning streak to a program-record 28 games. This is the fifth straight season in which the Cardinal has put together a streak of at least 20 wins.
Freshman guards Jasmine Camp (stress fracture revealed Dec. 19) and Alex Green (torn Achilles' tendon suffered Nov. 18) will miss the rest of the 2011-12 season. Forward Mikaela Ruef (foot), who had not played since Nov. 17, is out for the season after having surgery last week on her injured foot.